Intimacy with the Holy Spirit

 

Pentecost flamefrom Richard Earll at Community Church, Chafford Hundred

John 14:16-18
"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

John 14:25-26
"These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you."

John 15:26
"When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me…"

John 16:6-7
"… because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you."

John 16:12-15
"I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you."

John 14:12
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father."

Acts 1:4-5
Gathering them together, Jesus commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me; for John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
 

Introduction


In the last reading we saw that Jesus commanded the disciples to wait at Jerusalem, because He wanted them to be baptised with the Holy Spirit.
The baptism with the Holy Spirit brings us into a new level of intimacy with God.

It is a level of intimacy that is very necessary in order for us to fully experience the life God has called us to have.

The Greek word ‘baptizo’ was used to describe the dying of cloth, where the cloth was fully immersed into the dye.  In so doing, it became saturated and infused with the properties of the dye, so that when it emerged, it was seen to be completely changed; it was never the same again, because the cloth and the dye had become united together.

This is what the Biblical term ‘baptism’ describes when it is used in the context of our relationship with God: it describes the uniting together of God and His people, so that they are never the same again. – This is why it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 … if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. This is referring to the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, when we receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour, and we are spiritually baptised into Christ; we become united with Him. This is why the Bible often describes God’s people as being ‘in Christ’.

However, we are speaking about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which is referring to being immersed in, saturated with, filled up, and united with God the Holy Spirit in such a way, that as God’s children, this combining of our spirit with the Spirit of God results in us never being the same again, because of this deeper unity and intimacy with Him.
 

1.  When we are Baptised with the Holy Spirit, we are brought into an intimate relationship with Him


We saw in our readings that when Jesus was about to leave His disciples, He told them He would not leave them as orphans, but He would send another Comforter to be with them.  He said,

John 14:16-18
"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

It’s worth noting that when Jesus said, ‘He will give you another Helper…’, the word He used for ‘another’ was ‘allos’, which denotes another of the same sort.

The context is that Jesus was telling His disciples that He was soon going to leave them.

This would have grieved them when they heard it, because of all Jesus had been to them.  But He went on to assure them another Comforter or Helper would be sent by the Father.

In saying ‘another’ in the way He did, He was telling them –and us- that the Helper who would come would be just the same as Him.
This means all that Jesus was to His disciples, the Helper who the Father would send would be exactly the same as Him, and would care for them in exactly the same way:  Jesus was saying everything that He is, the Helper is; there is no difference between them.

The word that is translated ‘Helper’, ‘Comforter’, ‘Counsellor’ is ‘parakletos’, which means ‘to be called alongside to help’.  It was used to refer to lawyers who gave their help, and pleaded a person’s case in a court of law.  It also had a wider use, and referred to the act of being there to provide help and comfort to those who needed it.

As God’s people, we do not have in ourselves the ability to be who God wants us to be, do what He wants us to do, or receive what He wants us to receive:  it is the Holy Spirit who gives the ability for these things.

Jesus went on to say, …you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.

Here we see that Jesus is making known that it is the will of God for His people to have an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, where not only would His Presence be with them, but He would also fill them.  In other words, they would be baptised with the Holy Spirit.

The disciples had a certain level of relationship with the Holy Spirit in that they knew His Presence was with them.

However, part of the New Covenant Jesus was in the process of making was that no longer would God’s people have a sort of nodding acquaintance with the Holy Spirit, but they would have an intimate relationship with Him.  Jesus said the Holy Spirit will be in you.

In other words, we would be baptised with the Holy Spirit, which means – as we said - , we would be immersed in, saturated with, filled up, and united with God the Holy Spirit in such a way, that as God’s children, this combining of our spirit with the Spirit of God results in us never being the same again, because of this deeper unity and intimacy with Him.

The baptism with the Holy Spirit is given so that – amongst other things – through our relationship with Him we will never be alone.  Jesus said,
He abides with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Note:  In the context of this, it is interesting to note in the book of Revelation that Jesus is depicted as a Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes, standing in the middle of the Throne of God.

In Revelation 5:6 (NIV) John said he saw … a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the centre of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

Here we see that Jesus, the Lamb of God, and the Holy Spirit are combined together as One, and are seen as occupying the Throne of heaven with the Father as the One God Almighty.

Because the Lamb of God and the Holy Spirit are revealed as being One, it suggests to me that when we are baptised with the Holy Spirit, we also receive the Presence and Person of the Lamb of God in a fuller and more intimate way.  With that, it is logical to conclude we receive a far greater awareness, and knowledge of the Person, and of the things of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is why Jesus said within the context of the Holy Spirit coming to be in us, that He would not …leave us as orphans…, but He would come to us.

Note: It is also worth noting that our relationship with the Holy Spirit is eternal, because the Father sends Him to be with us forever.

Also, our relationship with the Holy Spirit is an act of His own will, because even though He is sent by the Father and the Son, He also comes to us because He chooses to. John 16:7 (AMP) says,
I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counsellor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you <into close fellowship with you; but if I go away, I will send Him to you to be in close fellowship with you.

I feel we can conclude from this the Holy Spirit comes to be in close fellowship with us, because He wills to, and because He loves the people of God.
 

2. It is an integral part of God’s plan of salvation for us to have an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit


I want to share some Scriptures which show it has always been an integral part of God’s plan for His people to be filled with the Holy Spirit:
It was prophesied in the O.T. that God would pour his Spirit into the world.  This is particularly seen in Joel 2:28-29,
… I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions.
Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke.
The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.
And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered…


Peter quoted this in his sermon, to explain to the crowds what was happening when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and looked as though they were drunk.

It is important to note that John the Baptist said of Jesus in Luke 3:16,
I baptise you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Also, Jesus commanded His disciples to wait at Jerusalem to be baptised with the Holy Spirit. He told them in Acts 1:4-5,
…not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me;
for John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
 

Also, we read in Acts 8 of the revival in Samaria, where people were being ‘saved’, but had not been baptised with the Holy Spirit, and so the Apostles went to pray for them to receive Him.  It tells us in Acts 8:14-17 that when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. 

I’ve mentioned these things because they show it is important and necessary for God’s people to be baptised with, in order to be in close fellowship with the Holy Spirit:  this is an integral part of God’s plan for us. The Holy Spirit is the Helper who God the Father has sent to us to give us the ability to receive and achieve everything God wants us to.  It is through the place of intimacy with the Holy Spirit that the purposes God has planned for us are fulfilled. This is why Jesus said,
…it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counsellor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you <into close fellowship with you; but if I go away, I will send Him to you <o be in close fellowship with you.
 

3. Through an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, we can fully enjoy the things God wants to give us


Our relationship with the Holy Spirit, and the advantage it is to us is described in the ‘benediction’ in  2 Corinthians 13:14, which says,
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

The word ‘fellowship’ is translated from the word ‘koinonia’, which denotes ‘a partnership, a participation, a sharing in.’

The Amplified Bible puts this,
…the presence and fellowship (the communion and sharing together, and participation) in the Holy Spirit be with you all.

The words of this blessing show that through our fellowship with the Holy Spirit, He causes us to share and participate in the Presence, the Power and the eternal things God the Father desires we should have.

We see this a bit more clearly in 1 Corinthians 2, where Paul the apostle said he preached by the power of the Holy Spirit, so the effect would be to help God’s people live by the wisdom and power of God.

In 1 Corinthians 2:9-13 he said the things he taught by the power of the Holy Spirit were…
…"THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM." For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

These, and other Scriptures show that through our intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, He communicates and reveals the things of God to us in a way that spiritually infuses – or combines – those things into our nature.

This makes us a people whose nature is truth, who have the mind of Christ, and who experience and own what Father has freely given to us to enjoy.
The Holy Spirit’s influence leads us into the reality of having the purposes God has chosen for us to enjoy fulfilled in our lives, as He guides us into all the truth.

Note: God does not lead us into disappointment, but into appointment, because He has appointed us for blessing, and for the fulfilment of His holy, eternal purposes. This is why Jesus said in Luke 12:32, "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”

Romans 14:17… for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 
 

pentecost4. Through an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, He is able to impart to us the power to serve


We said that Paul the apostle preached by the power of the Holy Spirit, so the effect would be to help God’s people live by the wisdom and power of God.

In Acts 1:8 Jesus said (AMP) …you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.

Later on in Acts 2, where Peter was explaining what had happened when the disciples had been baptised with the Holy Spirit, he said, …For the promise of the Holy Spirit is to and for you and your children, and to and for all that are far away, even to and for as many as the Lord our God invites and bids to come to Himself.

I know there are some who teach that the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and the miraculous signs and wonders and gifts that came from the Holy Spirit through the Church have ceased. If we take the Bible at face value, there is nowhere that teaches us this. In fact, we are taught to be filled with the Spirit, and to covet earnestly the best gifts of the Holy Spirit.

It says of Jesus in Acts 10:38 that …God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and … He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

In the context of Jesus sending the Holy Spirit to baptise the Church, He said in John 14:12,
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father."

Jesus still desires to go about doing good, healing all who are oppressed by the devil. The way He does this is through a Church that is filled with the Holy Spirit.

It is vitally important for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit in these days, because we need the same power that the Early Church had, and we need to strategise and operate in partnership with God the Holy Spirit, in order to successfully reach our spiritually dark Nation with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

As we said, the Holy Spirit is the Helper who God the Father has sent to us to impart to us the ability to receive and achieve everything God wants us to.
It is through the place of intimacy with the Holy Spirit that the purposes God has planned are fulfilled in us.

The way we can be filled with the Holy Spirit is to simply ask.  One way of doing this is to use the prayer the Holy Spirit inspired Paul with, which is recorded in Ephesians 3:14-19
… I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

 
 

Richard Earll, 07/03/2016

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